Jack Nale Jr., 78, died April 2, 2009, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.
There was a private family memorial service Saturday at Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home in Halfway. Gordon Bond of the Richland Christian Church officiated.
Jack Nale Jr. was born on Oct. 31, 1930, in a tent near Tulsa Okla., and the lands of the Cherokee Nation to Jack Nale, Sr. and Lily Lovean Nale.
His family left Oklahoma and lived in Arkansas on his Grandfather Edmondson’s property where Jack spoke of a lake and cypress trees. During the beginnings of the Great Depression, Jack and his family moved to California’s Imperial Valley.
Jack was an excellent shot and provided much of his family’s food during the Depression. He often expounded on the importance of being a good shot, recalling when he had only one or two .22-caliber shells available per day to get meat for his family.
Jack attended the Silsbee and McCabe grade schools and Central Union High at El Centro, Calif. During high school, Jack joined the ROTC for a short time.
“However, he didn’t much care for taking orders,” his family said, adding that “in truth, he didn’t much care for school either, preferring to work.”
An entrepreneur from the start, Jack began a custom hay cutting business during his teen years. By the age of 16 he hired out his cotton picker and by age 17 he had a four- man hay baler and the employees to run it.
Jack married his one true love, Margaret “Midge” Nale on June 19, 1948. The couple met in high school. Midge and Jack continued to work in the Imperial Valley in agriculture throughout the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.
Jack also worked as a carpenter, cotton picker, millwright, in the San Diego Defense Plant, operating a fruit stand, and loading tomato trucks.
During the off season for crops, he worked high time for Keiser Steel. This was a daring job that Midge’s dad, Walt McNulty, helped Jack learn and become more comfortable with. Working high time also paid better than less risky work.
Jack was always generous with the fruits of his labor and proud to have provided for his family. He often brought gifts home for his wife and was especially proud that the family got to swim every day while living at Adelanto, Calif.
Jack’s custom hay operation eventually evolved into Jack Nale Jr. and Son, where both father and son put up hay in the Imperial Valley.
Jack and Midge enjoyed many adventures together including going to the North Platte River, in Nebraska to trap muskrats and ranching at Mitchell. As a carpenter and millwright, Jack helped build the tram at Palm Springs, Calif. He also worked on the Pilot Knob dam on the Colorado River and helped build Interstate 8.
In 1972, Jack and Midge traveled with good friends, Bob and Louise Morrison, to Eastern Oregon. Both couples relocated from Southern California to Oregon.
Jack and Midge initially ran cattle on the Butterfield Place at Sparta. Jack found the winters there too hard on the livestock and relocated to Richland in 1973.
In Eagle Valley, Jack continued to ranch and ran a dairy with his oldest daughter, Patti. Later, Jack and Midge formed a partnership with their youngest daughter and son-in-law, Dorothy and Thorny Hampton.
The partnership proved to be a lasting endeavor where the two families owned and operated the Hitching Post Grocery and Motel as well as H&N Limousin Ranch. Jack was a believer in the Lord and served as a minister for the Full Assembly of God in both California and at Richland.
The little time that Jack did steal away from work was spent with his family, often watching “The Duke” or listening to Johnny Cash and Louis L’Amour.
Family members expressed their sincere gratitude for the exceptional care Jack received at St. Elizabeth Care Center and St. Elizabeth Hospital.
Survivors include his wife, Margaret Nale of Richland; daughter and son-in-law, Patricia and Joseph Cunha of Pendleton; son and daughter-in-law, Joe and Nancy Nale of Imperial, Calif.; daughter and son-in-law, Dorothy and Theron “Thorny” Hampton of Richland; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; sisters, Marie Robison and Shirley and her husband, Don Ware, all of Missouri; and brother and sister-in-law Paul and Peggy Nale of Poplarville, Miss.; sister-in-law, Nora Cusic of Florence; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack Nale Sr. and Lily Lovean Nale; brothers, Thomas Nale and Leroy Nale; brother-in-law, Monroe Robison; and grandson, Joe Nale Jr.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Elizabeth Care Center Hospice Room or Eagle Valley Ambulance through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543 Halfway, OR 97834.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, April 06, 2009
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor